After mother makes plea, NBC cuts segment on Stefanie Rengel’s death
Stefanie Rengel, 14, is shown in this Toronto police handout photo. David Bagshaw, a 19-year-old man who pleaded guilty to killing Rengel because of his girlfriend's intense jealousy was handed an adult sentence of life with no chance of parole for 10 years on Monday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Toronto Police
Rebecca Burton, CTV Toronto
Published Tuesday, September 25, 2012 11:18AM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, September 25, 2012 7:54PM EDT
American TV network NBC has decided to nix a segment on Stefanie Rengel`s death after the Toronto teen’s mother made an emotional plea to stop production.
The brutal stabbing of the 14-year-old girl in front of her family home in 2008 was set to be featured on the reality show “Teens Who Kill,” on E! Entertainment.
“E! Opted not to include the Stefanie Rengel case in our upcoming special “When Teen`s Kill,” Kristen Osborne, senior publicist with E!, told the Canadian Press on Tuesday.
”When we are in production on specials like this, we always research numerous stories and not all of them make it in,” said Osborne.
Before the cancellation, Patricia Hung made a public plea to cancel the episode on her blog, “Joy in the Aftermath,” on Sept. 15.
“My feelings are that it cheapens her life and all she suffered, for ratings and profit. The re-enactment of her death, should any of her siblings see it, now or in re-runs, would be more than upsetting,” wrote Hung.
Hung had asked friends and supporters to spread the word so NBC would be unable to find anyone willing to participate, leaving the network no choice but to cancel.
Hung also put a message on NBC’s Facebook page on Sept. 15 with her request for the show to be cancelled. She asked anyone comfortable enough to “like” the Facebook message or comment on it to show support. Hung received an overwhelming number of supportive comments in response to her posts.
According to The Canadian Press, Hung said Tuesday that she regretted going public with her pleas due to the widespread media attention they received.
“I did make a grave error in posting the information,” Hung told The Canadian Press. “I have learned a lesson, that`s for sure.”
A similar show titled, “Un tueur si proche,” produced by Quebec’s Canal D featured an episode based on Rengel’s story. Hung only received a copy of the television episode “Obsession fatale” after it aired on Sept. 7, 2012.
“None of the people interviewed asked us how we would feel if they participated and I can only thank God that it has a limited viewership in Quebec and is in the French language,” she wrote.
Rengel was stabbed six times with a kitchen knife before she was left to die by David Bagshaw on New Year’s Day in 2008. Bagshaw’s girlfriend, Melissa Todorovic, convinced and blackmailed him to kill Rengel whom she considered a romantic threat.
Todorovic had never met Rengel but harboured a jealously for the girl who once had a crush on Bagshaw.
The two high-school students appeared in a lengthy court trial where they were both convicted of first-degree murder in 2009. Todorovic was sentenced in July 2009 to life in prison, with no chance of parole for seven years. Bagshaw was sentenced in Sept. 2009 to life in prison with no chance of parole for ten years.